Miami Hurricanes faces Wisconsin DL impacted by injuries


The Miami Hurricanes are facing a Wisconsin Badgers defensive line that has been decimated by injuries in 2018. The defensive line for Wisconsin has struggled this season with having to replace their injured players.

Four-year starting Nose tackle Olive Sagapolu had season-ending surgery on his right arm in November. Sagapolu initially suffered the injury to his arm in Wisconsin’s loss at Northwestern October 27. The Miami Hurricanes scored only 10 points in the final three-quarters of last season’s loss in the Orange Bowl.

His loss impact how opponents prepare for the Badgers. Sagapolu was a major part of what Wisconsin does defensively.  Sagapolu’s loss and the thinning depth up front have caused the Badgers to go to a 2-4-5 defensive alignment for the Pinstripe Bowl according to the Miami Hurricanes pre-game show.

Sagapolu finished 2018 with 23 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and a fumble recovery. Sagapolu’s one tackle in the Orange Bowl last season was a sack of Miami Hurricanes quarterback Malik Rosier.

A trio of other potential starters and starters on the Wisconsin Defensive Line have been out for all or part of the 2018 season for the Badgers. Defensive ends Garrett Rand and Isaiahh Loudermilk have missed all or part of this season. Rand tore his ACL in spring practice and has missed the entire season.

Current Injuries Table
Mason StokkeQuestionableLegStokke has missed the last four games dealing with a left leg injury and it is unknown if he will play in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Miami.
Bradrick ShawQuestionableKneeShaw is sidelined while recovering from an ACL injury and it is unknown if he will make his season debut in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Miami.
Olive SagapoluOutArmSagapolu underwent season-ending surgery on his right arm.
Garrett RandOutKneeRand is expected to miss the entire 2018 season due to a torn ACL.
Mason PlatterOutLegPlatter is expected to miss the entire season due to a leg injury.
Zander NeuvilleOutKneeNeuville has a knee injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the 2018 season.
Scott NelsonQuestionableUndisclosedNelson is battling an undefined injury, leaving his availability in question for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Miami.
Kraig HoweOutLegHowe has been sidelined with a right leg injury and it is unclear when he will return to action.
Alex HornibrookOutConcussionHornibrook is experiencing concussion-like symptoms and will not be cleared in time for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Miami.
Isaac GuerendoOutUndisclosedGuerendo has been sidelined with an unspecified injury and it is unclear when he will return to action.
David EdwardsQuestionableArmEdwards has an arm injury and it is unknown if he will take part in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Miami.
Taiwan DealQuestionableHamstringDeal is tending to a hamstring injury and it is uncertain if he will suit up in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl against Miami.
Quintez CephusOutSuspensionCephus has been suspended for an undetermined length of time due to violating the student-athlete discipline policy.

Provided by CFB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 12/27/2018.

Loudermilk is not on the injury report for the Pinstripe Bowl but has missed a couple of games this season for Wisconsin with injuries. According to the Badgers official depth chart Wisconsin will start Freshmen Matt Henningsen at the other end and Bryson Williams at nose tackle.

On the Badgers backend, starting Redshirt Freshman Safety Scott Nelson is questionable with an unnamed injury. Nelson has had an outstanding season. He is seventh on the Badgers with 39 tackles and second with five passes defended. If Nelson cannot go his backup is Sophomore Eric Burrell who has 40 tackles in 2018.

Jonathan Taylor has been exceptional for the Badger this season. Wisconsin might be without Taylor’s backup. Taiwan Deal is questionable for the Pinstripe Bowl with a hamstring injury. Deal has 493 yards rushing and five touchdowns while averaging 6.8 yards per carry this season.

Next. Miami football will face six 2018 bowl teams in 2019. dark

With Wisconsin having depth issues up front attacking the Badgers defensive line and winning the battle in the trenches will play a major role in determining the winner of the Pinstripe Bowl. Wisconsin’s defense finished an uncharacteristic 57th nationally in rushing defense. They allowed 157.92 yards per game on the ground.